Lecturing Legend: Liz Hennebry
Introducing Liz Hennebry, one of our experienced lecturers and course coordinators. So what comes to mind when we talk about Liz? She’s a straight shooter that doesn’t mince words, she has an incredibly caring nature (as all her students will know), she’s organised (she’s an event manager for goodness sake), she is professional to a tee and is particularly passionate about getting the best from her students – all the attributes that a really great educator should have. Over to you Liz…
Q. Can you give a brief description of your career trajectory?
A. My career started in venues both overseas and in Australia then I drifted to Conferencing and lots in-between. Wanting to work on the other side I then moved into inbound Destination Management roles. Working on the Olympics was too big an opportunity to pass up so I fell into venue transport management. I started teaching when I had my family and I love being able to mentor and assist students to move into the dynamic industry that is events.
Q. What do you love most about working in events?
A. The variety of experiences you can be involved in. No one day is ever quite the same and the opportunity to work with a team and see a project to fruition is wonderful.
Q. Favourite event you have worked on and why?
A. Different ones for different reasons but working on the Venue Transport team for the Sydney Olympics was pretty amazing. A fantastic team of people and a unique experience to work on such as large scale project.
Q. Tips to get a job in the event management industry?
A. Be professional, both in written, verbal and presentation. Answer emails and phone calls and fix your resume so it really stands out from the pack. Be open to new experiences and research the company you are wanting to work for. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up organically.
Q. Tips to be an awesome event manager?
A. Again to be professional, service driven, be approachable, open minded and friendly, not precious. Detail orientated and organised.
Q. What are some obstacles you’ve encountered along the way?
A. Self doubt at some points.
Q. Career highlights?
A. Working with some great teams of people and seeing the events we were working on unfold and knowing we were a part of it. Attending the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, dinner in the Port Douglas rain-forest, organising an 800 person sailing regatta on Sydney Harbour.
Q. How would you define success?
A. Enjoying what you do and doing it well. Being happy, feeling a sense of achievement and building a great team of people around you.
Q. Who/what inspires you?
A. Articulate, intelligent people doing great things in the world.
Q. What’s one piece of advice you would tell your younger event manager self?
A. Be confident. You can do whatever you want if you set your mind to it. Follow your creative side. Keep things in perspective
Q. What do you look for when hiring new people for your team?
A. A team player capable, willing, open minded and approachable.
Q. How do you think the event industry will evolve in the next 10 years?
A. It is really hard to say where it will go next but it is very exciting… There will be more new technologies emerging that will help shape how we communicate with each other and how we engage with our audience. Nearly every day a new app comes out. There will be a focus on audience involvement in the experience and organisers will really need to understand what their audience wants and develop programming accordingly. Analytics will be crucial. Less obvious sponsorship at events but rather organically integrated into the experience. This is already happening but I would imagine will continue further. Watch this space!